Gender Identification and Chopsticks

My daughter gets called a boy all the time and she'll only try new food if it's given to her via chopsticks.

That my daughter is constantly called a boy is annoying because the extent to which we gender identify our children is ridiculous.  Girls in pink, boys in blue...really?  Ladies, how many of you have entire wardrobes that consist of strictly pink lacy clothing.  Guys, how many of you have an entire closet full of only blue shirts?  Ok, so my husband does but he's the exception to the rule.  And, I'll have you know he recently wore purple, GO MIKE!  None of us do.  So why do we do it to kids.

I went to Buffalo Wild Wings when Aasta was about nine months old.  They asked me if I wanted a kids menu.  I said, "Sure!"  Then the hostess asked if I wanted a boy or girl kid menu to which I responded, "what's the difference?"  She said, "the girls one is movie stars and the boys one is trucks and cars."  It's a freakin kids meal!  Put some baloons on it and call it good.  I took the trucks one on principle.

I went to meet Mike for lunch at work one day and because I didn't want to have to explain why a short haired blond child could also be a girl I put Aasta in a pink hoodie sweatshirt.  As I was waiting for Mike to come down the elevator one of the security guys said, "What's his name?"  I said, "Her name is Aasta."  He said, "Oh, I just saw the blue shoes."   COME ON!

I've tried every color, white, green, orange, yellow, brown, teal, light blue, red, and unless she's wearing strictly pink, it seems the default assumption is that she's a boy.  I understand that she probably won't be damaged by this.  I was, after all, called a boy until about eighth grade.  Of course that's because I wanted people to think I was a boy and it took until I turned about twenty-five to truly embrace girl-ish-ness and I turned out relatively normal.

So if anyone has a theory about this I'd love to hear about it.  Or just other rants.

Second topic.  My daughter will only eat new food when presented to her with chopsticks.  Actually, that's all I have to say on the matter.  I just think it's funny.  And kind of cool.


  1. I share your enthusiasm for this rant. I've becoming hyper-aware, since having D, of the stereotypes and gender roles punched into childrens faces from jumpstreet. For her 3rd birthday - not making this up - well-meaning relatives who love her got her a toy mop set (pink), a toy cooking kit (pink), and an apron. I went out that day and got her a football. And God bless her Godmother who for Christmas, knowing my frustration, got her toy power tools.

    I don't care what she likes, I don't care if she wants to be the pinkest, girliest girl on the planet. Just so long as its her choice. For now I appreciate that she loves Hello Kitty with equal vigor as she does Thomas the Train, and will just as likely be spotted in her boys Thomas underwear underneath it all.

  2. Ok, I totally get it and was totally guilty of putting my girl in pink. I do kinda like pink :-) But I certainly don't think girls should have movie star posters and boys trucks--blech! My girl had trucks, my boy has dolls and they will be who they will be. Oh--and people are just kinda clueless, John was always mistaken for a girl because 'he's so pretty, it must be a girl'..!!

    Chopsticks--love it. Maybe I will try presenting my children with chopsticks when I present them with new food. I will tell them Aasta likes it and that just might work!

  3. I agree, I have no problem with pink and if Aasta decides pink is her thing I'm really fairly ambivalent about it. What I do have a problem with is this cultural obsession with creating a really messed up gender gap.

    How do we raise kind and strong kids who aren't preprogrammed to think they're supposed to be anything other than kids?

    Oh, and go for the chopsticks trial, let me know how it goes!


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